Weddell Sea and Larsen Ice Shelf Antarctica

From Santiago to Santiago
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Luxury Antarctica
  • Expedition
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Discover off the beaten track Antarctica in luxury

Experience the incredible sights of the Weddell Sea on this unique Antarctic expedition. A voyage that promises incredible landscapes and unforgettable encounters. Discover the immense polar landscapes of Antarctica as you cruise the South Shetland Islands, North Antarctic Peninsula, head into the Weddell Sea to discover the legendary Larsen Ice shelf. Witness the colossal sights of the Larsen ice sheet as you search for incredible wildlife among immense icebergs and frozen glaciers. Enjoy shore landings and zodiac expeditions to explore the immense icebergs, find seals, penguins and more.

This is truly a unique Antarctic journey on the outstanding new luxury exploration vessel, the Le Commandant-Charcot. This very first hybrid-electric polar exploration ship powered by LNG has been designed with the greatest attention to detail in terms of safety and respect for the environment. With an indoor swimming pool, panoramic restaurant, fine dining and luxury services onboard enjoy the farthest reaches of the world in comfort.

*Please note departures are either 13 or 14 days, please ask us for the full itinerary for your departure date

Viva's Best Bits...

"A rare opportunity to witness the impressive Larsen Ice Shelf which creates immense table top icebergs." Tara, Team Viva

Discover the Weddell Sea wildlife: Weddell seals, crabeater seals and leopard seals, Adelie penguins, humpback whales, sea birds.

Le Commandant Charcot is the world’s 1st PC2 luxury hybrid-electric polar exploration ship. Explore remote destinations in complete luxury never before seen in polar exploration.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Santiago

Arrive Santiago anytime. We recommend arriving at least 1 or 2 days before departure to allow time for you to enjoy and explore Chile’s capital city and cultural centre.
Transfer included

Dinner is included tonight at your hotel

Overnight in Santiago

Day 2
Fly Santiago to Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

A light morning breakfast will be served before leaving for the airport for your Santiago/Ushuaia flight.
Transfer to the airport.

Flight Santiago/Ushuaia in economy class.
Seats in business class may be available, please let us know if required
Approximate flight duration: 3 hours

Meet and greet at Ushuaia airport (English-speaking assistance).
Transfer to Le Commandant-Charcot.
Embarkation.

Day 3-4
Crossing the Drake Passage

Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage

All meals included
Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 5
North Antarctic Peninsula

Throughout your time in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. You will sail through the Antarctic Sound, named after Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjöld’s ship, which was trapped by the ice during an important scientific expedition in 1902. The gateway to the Weddell Sea, this sound is filled with gigantic tabular icebergs and plates of sea ice drifting northward from the coastal areas of this vast sea. It is home to Adelie penguins and a great many leopard seals.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 6-8
Sailing toward Larsen Ice Shelf

As you explore the Weddell Sea, you will sail towards the gigantic Larsen Ice Shelf. The beauty of this immense ice formation is fascinating; nonetheless, its monumental size must not make us forget the fragility of its existence. These floating platforms are what protect the continental ice cap – also called the inlandsis – from erosion and are thus of paramount importance for the entire balance of our planet. As you get up close to this equally majestic and vertiginous spectacle, you will really understand the need to protect these ice shelves. Our team of passionate experts will share their knowledge of these ice shelves that create gigantic tabular icebergs – among the largest ever observed - that drift in the Southern Ocean.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 9-10
Weddell Sea Exploration

Impassable, extreme and captivating: this is the best way to describe the Weddell Sea, much of which is covered by a layer of thick, densely packed ice. It is a challenge and a privilege to sail upon this sea. Your exploration of this vast polar expanse, a real labyrinth frequented by majestic tabular icebergs, will plunge you into the heart of an extraordinary and enchanting silence. These ice giants come from the calving of the legendary Larsen Ice Shelf which looms in the southern part of this mythical sea. It was in this zone that the ship Endurance, commanded by Ernest Shackleton, was crushed and swallowed by the ice. “What the ice gets, the ice keeps” he said. Not exactly, though, since the famous wreck was miraculously found in 2022... While polar expeditions are no longer the same as they were a century ago, the adventure continues. Humpback whales, orcas, colonies of Adelie penguins, and giant petrels are all to be found here, yet the lord of the kingdom is no other than the Weddell seal. On these lands, only the throbbing of its cries breaks the surrounding tranquility. A record-breaker (it can remain underwater for more than an hour), you will recognise it by its dark grey pelage and spotted belly.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 11
South Shetland Islands

On the edge of the Antarctic Peninsula, 120 km (70 miles) from the White Continent, the South Shetland Islands offer surreal and mysterious scenery. On these volcanic islands of dark rock, the landscapes alternate between long, jagged and snow-covered coast and large, gently sloping bays. These lunar and wild lands are home to important scientific research stations and a large number of animal species: chinstrap penguins, crabeater seals or Weddell seals, Antarctic terns, giant petrels and elephant seals have taken up residence here.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 12-13
Crossing the Drake Passage

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 14
Disembarkation Ushuaia - Fly to Santiago

Arrival back into Ushuaia this morning, and transfer to the airport for your departing flight to Santiago. Services end upon arrival into Santiago Airport.

We recommend you stay at least 1 night in Santiago post-cruise, as we are unable to confirm the flight times until closer to travel.

NOTE:
We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the IAATO.

Need help with pre or post cruise travel arrangements? Interested in extending your stay to visit other amazing destinations in Latin America. Be sure to ask your travel adviser for more details

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 11 or 12 nights on board Le Commondant Charcot
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 1 night pre-cruise 5 star hotel in Santiago
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All meals whilst on board
  • Included Copy 20 Open bar & room service 24 hours (conditions apply)
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Outings and shore visits in Zodiacs with a team of experienced naturalist guides
  • Included Copy 20 Parka to keep & boots to Loan while on the cruise
  • Included Copy 31 Activities: Kayaking, Zodiacs, Hiking & Snowshoeing, Polar Swim
  • Included Copy 20 Return charter flight from/to Santiago/Ushuaia
  • Included Copy 20 Lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides
  • Included Copy 31 Optional Polar Diving (Additional costs)
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Travel Insurance, Gratuities / Tips are not included
  • Included Copy 7 Personal expenses such as laundry, on board communication (telephone calls, faxes, email)
Transportation
Le Commandant Charcot

270 (200 in Antarctica) Passengers

Activities

  • Included Opportunity to Kayak in Antarctica
  • Included Walking and Hiking opportunities
  • Included Wildlife: Weddell seals, crabeater seals and leopard seals, Adelie penguins, humpback whales
  • Included Polar Diving *with limited places available, additional costs apply
  • Included Zodiac explorations to explore icebergs, glaciers and more
  • Included Participate in scientific research
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

13 days

Price from

$18,156 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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